Tapping Youth Participation to Strengthen Library Services

Utilizing teen input in a respectful and practical manner is a challenge at any library, yet it has countless rewards. Through this YALSA e-course, participants will learn practical ways to work with teens to improve library services. Participants will learn the benefits of teen participation and engagement in the library, and will examine examples of youth participation in collection development, programming and planning of physical/virtual spaces. In addition, participants will learn methods of incorporating youth participation into the administrative levels in public libraries and school libraries and into the community.

Learning Outcomes

Students in this course will learn how to:

  • Build administrative support for a teen advisory board by identifying its importance and positive impact on the library facility.
  • Explore four areas where youth participation will enhance library services
  • Develop strategies to realistically address challenges and fears that arise with working with teen volunteers.
  • Evaluate the success of utilizing teen input and adjust services to reflect that input. 

Who Should Attend

Young adult librarians, school librarians, teachers, administrators, and any literacy-focused professional who works directly with teens and tweens.

Course Requirements

Participation is this course will require approximately 2.5 hours (asynchronous) per week to:

  • Read the online course material
  • Post to online discussion boards
  • Complete online exercises


Amy Alessio is the Teen Coordinator at the Schaumburg Township District Library, and has worked with teens for the past 12 years.

Date(s) & Time(s)

This course is not currently scheduled to be offered, but is available to be licensed for presentation to your library by contacting Nicole Gibby Munguia at nmunguia@ala.org or 1-800-545-2433 ext. 5293.

Course Length

Four weeks


  • $155 YALSA members
  • $195 ALA members
  • $215 nonmembers

Course Pairings

Interested in other management classes? Check out Tech Tools for Teen Leadership and Growing, Managing and Defending the Young Adult Budget!


Registration for this course is not presently available.


Contact Nicole Gibby Munguia, YALSA's program officer for continuing education, at nmunguia@ala.org or 1-800-545-2433, ext. 5293.